By Ashima Gujral:
Last night was a new revelation for me. It was a friend’s birthday and he had arranged for a terrace party at his residence for all of us. Unlike the usual luncheons or early evening parties we always used to have, this party started late in the evening and continued till late at night. And this was not the only difference I saw. There was a proper arrangement for alcohol for the birthday party of nineteen-year-old. And not just alcohol, the party also catered to those who wanted to smoke. I was shocked and scared when I realized that I was the only non-smoker/teetotaller at the party. Feeling out of place among my own friends and after successfully rejecting their pleas for trying my hands at both, I withdrew into a corner and started pondering over what I had just witnessed. Were these the same set of friends who had just passed out of school with me an year ago?
The people I believed would always refrain from such bad habits were so drunk that they hardly knew what they were saying, most of them were unable to handle their glasses and some were busy throwing up. Sadly, I realized that alcoholism and smoking had gripped my friends badly and they were now victims who were intentionally or unintentionally ruining themselves.
But what can be the reason behind this? The thrill of trying everything at the first possible opportunity? Or the peer pressure and the inferiority complex we face if we do not indulge in smoking and drinking in order to give company to our friends? But is all of this superior to what is right? We all know the ill-effects of smoking and drinking, I do not need to enumerate them for the nth time, but considering the situation my friends are in, I feel sad for them. The legal age set by the government for drinking in Delhi, is twenty-five years, which is yet another example of their non-functional policies and failed attempts to take charge of the situation.
However, surprisingly, parents today are way too liberal and are okay with their children inculcating such vices. Parents I believe can be a major influence on their children, even today and are capable of curbing them from developing these pathetic habits and thus protecting them from a dark future. We have all seen numerous examples of people ruining themselves in terms of their health, relationships and careers just because smoking and alcohol got the better part of them. I hope that my friends and numerous other youngsters like them get over the thrill induced by alcoholism and smoking and work upon bringing their lives on the right track.